Meta-analysis of physical activity interventions in pregnancy and weight gain

January 01, 0001

Meta-analysis of physical activity interventions in pregnancy and weight gain

High gestational weight gain (GWG) has been found to be associated with a number of adverse perinatal and long-term outcomes. These German authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to find out whether physical activity in pregnancy might help avoid high GWG. They included trials on healthy women with increased physical activity as the only intervention. GWG had to be documented for the intervention and control group separately.

They found: "Of 1380 studies identified, 12 trials met the inclusion criteria. In seven trials, GWG was lower in the exercise group compared with the control group, whereas five trials showed a lower GWG in the control groups. The meta-analysis resulted in a mean difference of GWG of -0.61 kg, suggesting less GWG in the intervention groups compared with the control groups. We found no indication for publication bias or dose effects."

The authors concluded: "In summary, our analyses suggest that physical activity during pregnancy might be successful in restricting GWG."

The impact of interventions to increase physical activity in pregnancy with the goal of limiting weight gain appears to be modest.

For the full abstract, click here.

BJOG 118(3):278-284, February 2011
© 2010 to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Physical activity and gestational weight gain: a meta- analysis of intervention trials. I Streuling, A Beyerlein, E Rosenfeld, H Hofmann, T Schulz, R von Kries.

Category: W. Pregnancy, Family Planning. Keywords: exercise, intervention, pregnancy, weight gain, meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 1 February 2011

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